First dates are weird, man. Most of the time, you’re walking in with near zero knowledge of the person who will be sitting across from you (Do they clap on airplanes? Are they a cat person? Will we hate the same people?). And naturally, those unknowns conjure up nerves. Given that I am not calm, cool, or collected in any situation, let alone on a date, I rely on a handful of techniques that help me find peace before committing an entire hour to a total stranger.

Check for boogers.

One of my biggest fears in social situations is having bats in the cave. And most dates will not tell you that you have a boogie, because it’s embarrassing for both parties. I’m cringing just thinking about the possibilities. So, before leaving my apartment and in an effort to avoid a snot snafu, I blow my nose excessively and then take a Q-tip for a ride around my nostrils (a trick I learned from my friend, Chan) to evict any stragglers.

Listen to pump-up music.

While I’m inspecting the insides of my snout and/or doing my hair, I like to throw on some bops to loosen up. You try listening to Panic! At The Disco or Ari and tell me you’re not going to make an entrance via moonwalk. I’ll wait.

Solicit a pep talk.

 

Sometimes, you need your friend to praise the fuck out of you so you can walk into a first date feeling like Kanye feels, well, all the time. I want someone who knows and loves me to remind me what I already know deep down: that I am both the weird kind of cool and moderately funny. What are friends for if not to gas you up? Speaking of gas…

Pop a Gas-X.

In the event that the mozzarella stick we eat “Lady And The Tramp” style makes me feel all kinds of funky, I’ll be prepared. Don’t you dare think for a second that I don’t have two backup TUMS Smoothies in a plastic snack bag stashed in even my smallest purse.

Watch something that makes me laugh.

IMHO, the best way to go into a date with a carefree attitude is to LOL before game time. I tend to turn to an old YouTube video or clip from some not-super-well-known show. If you find yourself looking for a pre-date chuckle, may I suggest ”The Christmas Tree” or “Mr. G Best Moments?”

Get there first.

Nothing screams, “Hi! I’m here on a first date, and I forget what the person looks like!” more than maneuvering your neck in an unnatural manner in an attempt to spot your suitor. All eyes are on you, and sweat ensues. I’d rather set up shop at a comfortable spot and text my date letting them know where I am. I won’t be out of breath when they walk in, and I feel like I’m in control. The anxious part of me (who am I kidding? That’s all of me.) likes control.